Sports

Sun
24
Apr

Horvat’s blast jumpstarts Wolves

After a slow start in their season-opener, the Ely Timberwolves needed a spark.<BR><BR>Junior Ernie Horvat answered the call, smashing a mammoth home run to left field April 16 at Hinckley, igniting a barrage that didn’t end until the high school baseball team picked up two wins.<BR><BR>Horvat’s blast was part of a 13-3, six-inning win over East Central, while teammates Tim Scott and Nick Furnstahl combined for five hits and five runs scored in a 12-1 blowout against Hinckley.<BR><BR>“It was a good way to start out the season,” said Ely Head Coach Frank Ivancich. “I think the difference for the whole day was Ernie’s home run. We fell behind against East Central, and it seemed like the home run just let everybody take a deep breath and play.

Mon
18
Apr

Golfers get early start

They haven’t even competed yet, but the 2005 season is already off to a great start for Ely’s high school golf teams.<BR><BR>Because of an unusually mild April, deep snow quickly melted from area courses and the season - for a change - may actually start on time.<BR><BR>The Ely boys begin East Range Conference Tuesday at Eveleth while the girls start at the same site next week.<BR><BR>And, in a rarity for high school linksters in northern Minnesota, the tremendous weather will even allow the Wolves to get a few practice rounds in before the season gets underway.<BR><BR>“This is the earliest we’ve ever been out,” said longtime Ely coach Rob Simonich. “It’s been a surprisingly early spring.”<BR><BR>Both Ely teams have quality returning talent and good depth.

Mon
18
Apr

Milkovich leads Ely on the track

Ely’s high school boys track team starts the 2005 season with good reason for optimism.<BR><BR>The Timberwolves return their top two point-scorers from a year ago, including one of the state’s top triple jumpers in junior Steve Milkovich.<BR><BR>And even with Milkovich slowed and fellow high scorer Mike Krunkkala sidelined by injuries, Ely had a strong showing in its first meet, placing third at an April 7 event at Virginia.<BR><BR>“I was very pleased,” said Ely Head Coach Darren Visser. “We were running without Mike Krunkkala and without Milkovich being at full strength. It was a great meet for us to get to know what everybody can do.

Mon
11
Apr

Wolves count on pitching

The Ely Timberwolves have more than a few question marks heading into the high school baseball season, but they‘re more than set in one very key position.<BR><BR>In senior lefty Tim Scott, the Wolves have one of the premiere pitchers in northern Minnesota and Ely returns a staff that goes at least four deep into the spring campaign, which starts Saturday with two games at Hinckley.<BR><BR>Scott, who went unbeaten last summer and helped Ely’s American Legion squad to a second-place Division II state tournament finish, is one of just two returning starters for the Wolves, who went 15-5 and captured the Arrowhead Conference crown last spring.<BR><BR>The Wolves’ starting lineup is a work in progress, according to fourth-year head coach Frank Ivancich, but their pitching staff looks solid.<BR><BR>In addition to Scott, the Wolves return juniors Nick Furnstahl and Paul Starkovich and sophomore Colin Moberly.

Sun
10
Apr

Softball team relies on new pitching staff

Pitching isn’t everything in high school softball, but it sure means a lot.<BR><BR>That’s a big reason why the Ely Timberwolves enter the 2005 season with a good deal of uncertainty.<BR><BR>Not only did the Wolves graduate several senior starters from a team that went 9-10 a year ago, but their top two returning pitchers - senior Jackie Lekatz and Kelsey Ivancich - are bo th out for the season with knee injuries.<BR><BR>That’s the predicament facing longtime head coach Steve Smrekar and the Wolves as they get set to open the season at home today (4:30 p.m.) against Floodwood.<BR><BR>“We’ve lost one senior pitcher and one junior pitcher to torn ACLs,” said Smrekar, who has guided the program since its inception in 1989.

Sun
03
Apr

COLUMN: In the front row

Somewhere on the Iron Range, perhaps in the back of a school trophy case or tucked away with old scorebooks and sports equipment in the storage area of an area school, sits a piece of basketball history.<BR><BR>It’s the Gold Brick, northeastern Minnesota’s version of the Little Brown Jug, Floyd of Rosedale, or any of the many symbols of regional sports rivalries.<BR><BR>During the 1940s, the Gold Brick was the prize possession of high school boys basketball teams in the old District 27.<BR><BR>Schools such as Eveleth and Gilbert and Virginia - and Ely as well - fought over the brick with as much intensity as they battled over a district championship.<BR><BR>A traveling trophy, the Gold Brick stayed in the possession of one team until it was knocked off on the hardcourt.

Fri
01
Apr

Seventh-inning comeback derails VCC

A two-out rally spoiled the Vermilion Ironmen‘s first trip outside this spring.<BR><BR>Iowa Central’s junior varsity scored three times in the bottom of the seventh and pulled out a 5-4 community college baseball victory March 26 at Fort Dodge, Iowa.<BR><BR>The Ironmen also dropped a 10-0 decision to Minnesota rival Ridgewater in the second half of the doubleheader.<BR><BR>Vermilion, which opened the season earlier in the month with a pair of losses at the Metrodome, fell to 0-4 on the season.<BR><BR>But the Ironmen nearly picked up their first win against Iowa Central, thanks to a strong effort on the mound from freshman lefthander Shawn Gageby.<BR><BR>The Andover native took a 4-2 lead into the seventh, and went six and two-thirds inning, giving up five hits and two earned runs, with four strikeouts.<BR><BR>Iowa Central got to Gageby late.<BR><BR>With two outs and a runner on first, a walk put the

Sun
27
Mar

COLUMN: In the front row

As the Braham Bombers finished off an unbeaten season, won their second straight state Class AA championship and were legitimately touted as the state’s best team regardless of class, one couldn’t help but wonder how Ely’s high school boys basketball program would have fared if Nate and Kathy Dahlman had never left town.<BR><BR>Two of the their six children - 6-7 junior Isaiah Dahlman and 6-6 sophomore Noah Dahlman - formed the heart of a Braham team that has won 55 straight games and has been touted in some circles as one of the best squads in state history.<BR><BR>Put those two - Isaiah is already being pursued by the top Division I college programs in the country while Noah is a legitimate college prospect in his own right - with Ely’s 2,000-point scorer Tim Scott and what do you get?<BR><BR>More than likely, a team that would have rolled past northeastern Minnesota competition and found itself playing at the Target Center and on statewide tele

Sun
27
Mar

Scott, McDonald named all-league

Tim Scott and Eric McDonald formed one of the area’s best scoring combinations in high school boys basketball.<BR><BR>Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed, as both Timberwolves were named to the All-Arrowhead Conference Team, which was announced last week.<BR><BR>Scott, who finished a stellar prep career as one of just a dozen players in Minnesota history to reach both the 2,000-point and 1,000-rebound milestones, was named All-Arrowhead for a fourth straight season.<BR><BR>It was the first time that McDonald, a junior, was recognized.<BR><BR>Both Wolves were among the top 11 players in the conference, according to league coaches, and Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald was among those saluting their performances.<BR><BR>“Tim, I think as expected, just dominated games for us,” said McDonald. “He led us in almost every category that we had. And Eric was a pleasant surprise.

Sun
20
Mar

Ely sixth grade boys take consolation championship at Hibbing tournament

The Ely boys sixth grade team went to Hibbing High school on March 12th to participate in a 16 team basketball tournament. <BR><BR>The young Timberwolves represented their school very well, as they bounced back from a couple of early round losses and won the final two games in the consolation bracket to take the consolation championship.<BR><BR>In the first game, the Wolves ran into a very potent Chisholm squad and lost by the score of 37-10. <BR><BR>Next up, was a very young Duluth East team that rallied from nine points down to squeak by the Wolves 25-24, which then put Ely into the consolation bracket. <BR><BR>After lunch, the Timberwolves came out strong against the Hibbing 2 team and held off a fourth quarter charge to win 29-21, putting the Wolves into the consolation championship game against Grand Rapids. <BR><BR>Ely got off to a fast start and never looked back, cruising to a 46-21 victory.

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